2556. RB to EBB
As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 13, 289–290.
Monday Mg. [Postmark: 24 August 1846]
My own dearest, let me say the most urgent thing first. You hear these suspicions of your Brothers. Will you consider if, during this next month, we do not risk too much in seeing each other as usual? We risk everything .. and what do we gain, in the face of that? I can learn no more about you, be taught no new belief in your absolute peerlessness—I have taken my place at your feet forever: all my use of the visits is, therefore, the perfect delight of them .. and to hazard a whole life of such delight for the want of self denial during a little month,—that would be horrible. I altogether sympathize with your brothers’ impatience, or curiosity, or anxiety, or “graveness”—and am prepared for their increasing and growing to heights difficult or impossible to be borne. But do you not think we may avoid compelling any premature crisis of this kind? I am guided by your feelings, as I seem to perceive them, in this matter; the harm to be apprehended is through the harm to them,—to your brothers. If they determine on avowedly knowing what we intend, I do not see which to fear most,—the tacit acquiescence in our scheme which may draw down a vengeance on them without doing us the least good,—or the open opposition which would bring about just so much additional misfortune. I know, now, your perfect adequacy to any pain and danger you will incur for our love’s sake– I believe in you as you would have me believe: but give yourself to me, dearest dearest Ba, the entire creature you are, and not a lacerated thing only reaching my arms to sink there. Perhaps this is all a sudden fancy, not justified by circumstances, arising from my ignorance of the characters of those I talk about; that is for you to decide,—your least word reassures me, as always. But I fear much for you, to make up, perhaps, for there being nothing else in the world fit to fear: I exclude direct visitations of God, which cannot be feared, after all—dreadful dooms to which we should bow– But the “fear” proper, means with me an apprehension that, with all my best effort, it may be unable to avert some misfortune .. the effort going on all the time: and this is a real effort, dearest Ba, this letter: consider it thus. I will (if possible) send it to town, so as to reach you earlier and allow you to write one line in reply .. you have heard all I can say .. say you, shall I come to-morrow? If you think it advisable, I will come and be most happy.
Another thing: you see your excitement about the church and the crowd .. my own love, are you able,—with all that great, wonderful heart of yours,—to bear the railway fatigues, and the entering and departure from Paris and Orleans and the other cities and towns? Would not the long sea-voyage be infinitely better, if a little dearer? Or what can be dear if it prevents all that risk, or rather certainty of excitement and fatigue? You see, the packet sails on the 30th Sept. and the 15th Oct As three of us go, they would probably make some reduction in price… Ah, even here, I must smile .. will you affirm that ever an approximation to a doubt crossed your mind about Flush?
I think your plans with respect to “Blackwood” most excellent—I see many advantages.
Here is the carriage for my sister, who is going to stay in town at the Arnoulds’ for a week,—with Mrs A. in it to fetch her– I shall give this letter to be put in the post– I have all to say, but the very essential is said. Understand me, my best, only love, and forgive any undue alarm, for the sake of the love that prompts it. Write the one line .. do not let me do myself wrong by my anxiety—if I may come, let me! Bless you, Ba
Address: Miss Barrett, / 50. Wimpole Street.
Postmark: 4EV4 AU24 1846.
Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 994–996.
Manuscript: Wellesley College.